Mystery Bird #5 - The Answer

Monthly challenge to test and improve your bird identification skills.
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Mystery Bird #5 - The Answer

Postby sav » Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:32 pm

OK, I can honestly say that MY first answer to this quiz was wrong!! However, I did work it out right in the end, and so did the majority of correspondents......

It surely is a small Albatross (Mollymawk - Oh! how I dislike that name!). The leading and trailing edges of the underwing are thin and dark. Thin enough for Buller's - well, no! And if not thin enough for Buller's then definately not enough for Grey-headed. The top of the bill is pale yellowish - yellow enough for Buller's - well, no!!

So, as Jan so eloquently pointed out, it has to be a "Shy" Albert. The "filled-in" tips to the underwing preclude White-capped (which no-one guessed, but was my first effort??).

Could it be a Chatham Albert? - no, the tiny visible bit of the top of the bird's head ought to be much darker, and the dark smudge of head just visible behind the wing-root.

This is a Salvin's Albatross. Brent has promised a more revealing shot of the same bird that I haven't seen yet, but it will be posted.

Thanks again to all those that attempted an answer. I think that many more are interested but not prepared to try - there were 209 views of the topic and only 20 entries to the quiz. 11 of those 20 got the right answer, so well done - the competition is wide open!!!!! But dont forget that every submitted answer - right or wrong - is in with a chance of a prize.

Sav Saville
Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ
Great Birds, Real Birders

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